The increasingly popular use of CBD in prepared food and drink in New York City is beginning to gain attention for its questionable legality. The New York City Department of Health confirmed that it is starting to place focus on restaurants that use cannabidiol (CBD) as a food additive, banning products and warning restaurant owners of potential fines to come. Until now, CBD could be found in a variety of products such as brownies, lattes, and cocktails.

CBD can originate from both cannabis and hemp plants. Although industrial hemp cultivation was legalized by the U.S. in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration considers CBD from either plant illegal as a food additive in consumer food products. “Until cannabidiol … is deemed safe as a food additive, the department is ordering restaurants not to offer products containing CBD,” according to a New York City Department of Health representative. The New York Post states that from July onwards, restaurants that violate this embargo could encounter fines of up to $650. New York isn’t the only state cracking down on cannabidiol in food products. Los Angeles, Maine, and Ohio are also enforcing state laws on CBD edibles and prepared foods.

Research has been done to demonstrate the potential that CBD has for treating anxiety-related disorders. Whether or not it has healing properties, cannibidiol is currently largely unregulated as a consumer product. Thus, it is difficult for people to truly understand what its’ intended effects are. Businesses also do not always explicitly outline the amount of CBD in menu items, or even which items contain CBD altogether, which is an immense regulatory and health risk. The lack of packaging and labelling requirements in the U.S. is what scares officials the most. Those who do not intend to consume edibles with cannibidiol may do so without knowing it.

As Cannabis laws changes rapidly, the future is unpredictable for the regulation of CBD in food products, although it might become legal in time to come.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical DevicesNatural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.